The ACC DAR project aims to contribute to the implementation of the National Adaptation Programme of Action that the Tanzanian government prepared in 2007 as a response to the impacts of climate change on the economy and the people's well being.
The action is funded by the EU and focuses on Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. It seeks to improve the effectiveness of local government authorities in supporting the adaptation strategies already in practice in coastal peri-urban neighborhoods to cope with rapid build-up of land and salinization of vital water resources.
The results are threefold. First, the capacities of municipal services to set up adaptation goals in a participatory way and integrate them into their plans are enhanced. Second, locally tailored methodologies for assessing climate change impacts and vulnerability are developed. Third, multi-level initiatives to improve the sustainability of rural-urban livelihoods in coastal African cities are identified.
Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome - ItalyLead applicant
The DICEA brings together research and teaching in a range of fields, including geo-information science and earth observation, water resources and infrastructure, sanitation and solid waste management, transportation, spatial planning, urban design, and architecture. In 2010, an interdisciplinary research group on issues related to Climate Change Adaptation was set up. Its overall aim is to develop an approach and a set of tools for the assessment of vulnerability to climate change in coastal peri-urban areas, in order to support decision making in adaptation policy, planning, and action at the local level. Three specific objectives are pursued: i) downscaling of global climatic scenarios; ii) assessing coastal aquifers’ sensitivity to seawater intrusion under conditions of climate change and urban sprawl; iii) mainstreaming community-based adaptation goals into existing plans for urban development and environmental management. The ACCDAR project is a major initiative by this group.
Dar es Salaam City Council - TanzaniaInitiative partner
The DCC is the governing body for executing City administrative duties through the City Director and three Heads of Departments, namely: 1) City Administrative Officer in charge of Finance and Administration; 2) City Economist in charge of Planning and Coordination of development activities; 3) City Planner in charge of Urban Planning, Environment and Utilities Services. The DCC operates in the same jurisdictional areas of the Municipalities of Kigamboni, Ilala and Temeke. Its functions include the following: to coordinate the powers and functions of the three Municipalities regarding infrastructure; prepare a coherent City–wide framework for the purpose of enhancing sustainable development; promote cooperation between the City Council and amongst Municipalities within the City area; deal with all matters for which there is interdependency among the Municipalities; support and facilitate the overall performance of the authorities; and, provide peace and security and emergency services.
Ardhi University - TanzaniaInitiative partner
ARU provides graduate, postgraduate, MSc, PhD and Certificate level education in Architecture and Design, Construction Economics and Management, Environmental Sciences and Technology, Geospatial Science and Technology, Urban and Regional Planning, Real Estates Studies, Housing and Information Systems Management. Some of its main functions as summarized from the ARU Charter 2007 are: i.) To preserve, enhance and transmit knowledge by teaching and conducting research; ii.) To conduct quality and practice-oriented programmes at higher education levels; iii.) To engage in applied research and use the results to improve teaching, learning and the provision of public service; iv.) To provide consultancy and advisory services; v) To be producer and supplier of key policy market experts and personnel for national development. vi.) To establish mutually negotiated, beneficial and durable links with higher learning and research institutions at national, regional and global level.
Building the sustainability of rural-urban communities in a changing climate is the key to guaranteeing a fair and prosperous future to the Sub-Saharan city.
The action addresses local planning for adaptation to climate change, by developing an innovative approach to reducing vulnerability in Sub-Saharan cities. First, rural-urban livelihood strategies are viewed as a source of adaptive capacity for the entire city, rather than a detriment to urban sustainability. As such, local authorities must support those strategies while preventing over-exploitation of natural resources (maladaptation). Second, the current urban development model is recognized as a structural cause of vulnerability. Consequently, the adaptation goals are formulated with the inhabitants as a combination of changes to be undertaken in order to achieve a transition to a sustainable city, and not as way of protecting current development modalities. Third, adaptation to climate change is viewed as an opportunity to improve the efficacy of existing plans and programs as opposed to a pretext for formulating new plans ad hoc that would likely never be enacted.
The food and agricultural sector is key to the economy of Dar es Salaam, and of Tanzania in general. Much of the agricultural output of south-eastern Africa passes through the port in Dar on its way to the rest of the world, as do many of the products imported into Africa from more developed nations. Produce from the African continent destined for the Tanzanian population is processed in the city’s industrial areas. The coast is punctuated with fishing docks and markets, and peri-urban territories and green urban spaces are used for cultivation and animal husbandry. Recognizing the historical role of urban and peri-urban agriculture in the development of Dar es Salaam and the strategic importance that it now represents in terms of the city’s food security, the action proposes to ensure sustainability in the face of anticipated environmental changes caused by a combination of climate change and urban expansion.
Today, the urban agendas for adaptation to climate change place an emphasis on the management of extreme weather events, which are recognized as a major threat to the city’s central district. This action shifts attention to the peri-urban areas that guarantee the conditions for development of the city’s core, and focuses on slow and incremental environmental changes which are likely to jeopardize the sustainability of rural-urban livelihood systems. In this view, progressive salinization of the coastal aquifer in connection with seawater intrusion is a key to adaption in Dar es Salaam. Following an analysis of the current situation and future scenarios, a series of amendments were formulated for the plans and programs that regulate city expansion and environmental management of the coastal plain, the purpose of which is to conserve water resources and guarantee access to water for domestic and productive uses, including irrigation and urban agriculture, in the near future.
Many people in Dar es Salaam live in spontaneous low-density settlements and survive thanks to a skilful mix of urban and rural activities. Conserving the rich natural resources of the region is fundamental to their survival, and to that of the city. The action focuses on communities in the coastal plain, where access to fresh water is jeopardized by the progressive salinization of wells caused by the combined effects of urban expansion and climate change. The common hope, identified through participatory theatre workshops with inhabitants, is that each house will have a 2000 litre water tank in which to accumulate fresh water, which families currently obtain from one of the 3 available sources: the hydro network, when it’s working; water vendors, whose prices are exorbitant when the hydro network isn’t working; and rain, which falls in abundance only a few months of the year.
Activities were carried out by a team of about 50 people of various ages and background. Sapienza University provided professors, researchers, and students in various fields of environmental engineering – spatial planning, hydrogeology, and climatology – in addition to experts in social theatre and public administration training. Ardhi University mobilized staff of the environmental science and technology school, including lab technicians and numerous students. In addition, about 40 technicians from the local administration participated in on-site training. The action also relied on the constant support of the local government for fieldwork, and on the collaboration of a pool of researchers from African and European universities for the annual evaluation of project results. Activities were coordinated by Silvia Macchi and Gabriel Kassenga, with the valuable managerial support of Laura Fantini.
Despite the work being done at Tanzanian universities, knowledge of the environment remains incomplete and cannot rely on systematic monitoring in Dar es Salaam. The action therefore seeks to reconstruct the evolution of land use through analysis of satellite images and of seawater intrusion in the coastal aquifer on the basis of historical data and ad hoc campaigns. This led to greater workload during the fact-finding phase than originally anticipated, but it also allowed for the development of an innovative methodology in both sectors. The environmental monitoring instruments and strategies used during the action offer local administrations the possibility of advancing the quality of their planning and evaluation of interventions to control urban growth and manage water resources, and therefore contributes to rendering development of the entire Dar es Salaam Region more sustainable.
The inputs that the action offered to local authorities in Dar es Salaam as regards integrating participatory adaptation objectives into existing plans and programs sought to improve the environmental sustainability of rural-urban communities, thereby also improving the future development of the entire urban region. This included measures to optimize forestry management (a key element to the conservation of natural resources and the climate), to achieve a consumption level of water resources that is compatible with recharge rates and new climatic balances, to increase community participation in decision-making processes that impact the future of settlements and livelihood systems, and to support the transition of urban and peri-urban agriculture towards low-impact and low-carbon farming techniques.
The action produced knowledge, methodologies, and capacities aimed at long-term transformation of the intervention by local authorities in Dar es Salaam regarding urban development and environmental management, thereby rendering it more effective in supporting the adaptation strategies of the population settled on the coastal plain. In the short term, the analysis of existing plans and programs has identified a series of already planned interventions that may contribute to improving local adaptive capacity, and they could therefore immediately access Adaptation Fund resources. In addition, each of the local authorities involved in the action has developed specific project proposals and has identified sources of financing to operationalize them in the near future. In particular, it is worth mentioning the proposal “Adapting Temeke Through Sustainable Water Cycle Management” which builds on lessons learned from the ACCDAR project.
The results of the action have been disseminated in two ways: through traditional scientific channels (books, articles, and conferences) at the international level, and through specific initiatives (workshops, forum theatre events, and manuals) at the local level. With respect to the former, the choice to involve a pool of African and European academics in the annual evaluation of results has proven particularly fruitful, as it has brought several project outputs to the attention of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chance – Working Group II, which has cited them in its Fifth Assessment Report. Regarding the latter, the forum theatre events carried out in collaboration with local actors and musicians has involved more than 2000 inhabitants of the coastal plain and has sensitized them to the impacts of climate change. A booklet and a toolkit are currently being prepared to share online the capacity building experience obtained through the action.